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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Matches from WWE Super Show-Down 10/6/18

Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch

ER: Charlotte's boobs look weirdly inflated, but it's possible that crossing the equator does funny things. Becky is super aggressive in this and it's awesome. She attacks at the bell and kicks at Charlotte's legs, yanks her by the arm from the ring to the floor (great reckless looking tumbling bump from Charlotte) and Becky does a tornado armbar and starts bending at Charlotte's wrist and fingers. Charlotte has a spirited comeback, kneedropping Becky in the back of the leg, hitting a nice high kick, but damn does Charlotte have some of the ugliest chops in wrestling. Her arm looks like a wet noodle, and they look too dismissive. Shame she's probably required to do them. Charlotte hits a nice spear (and Lynch takes a nice spear), and I like the theme of Becky rushing her early and then basically trying to cheat from behind the rest of the way. Charlotte hits knees on a moonsault, and I like Becky cheating to get out of the match with her title. That's probably because I'm sick of Charlotte in the title picture and think she's a horrible babyface. I smiled when Lynch kicked her ass after getting her belt.

Iiconics vs. Asuka/Naomi

ER: I was fully expecting more of a reaction for the Iiconics, but it's clear the crowd either doesn't care about them, or doesn't want to boo Australians, or...look I have no idea what native Australian culture is like. This is short but has some cool stuff in it, Asuka had some nice throws, Naomi did some cool split legged offense and a plancha, Peyton had a ridiculous-but-fun house show only kind of sell off a Naomi kick, stumbling around while Naomi mocked her. WWE has people lose in their home town/country so often that it was weird seeing them win here, not only quickly and cleanly, but over two people who are clearly much higher than them on the hierarchy. Fans respond to the finish, but not much else.

28. Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles

ER: This feud is pretty dumb, completely stupid to involve family in a fed that doesn't allow blood, just makes the babyfaces look like idiots for going out and working for a MOTY instead of just gouging a fucker's eyes out for hitting on his wife. But I was intrigued by the No DQ/No Count Out stipulation of this one. The stips don't enforce themselves much at all for the first half, which is cool, as the stips just encourage them to work stiff with each other. The opening punch exchange was good, AJ throws some kicks with thump, Joe tosses AJ to the floor and AJ takes an awesome bump on his face, then eats a tope and turns so he flies face first into the barricade, and takes a shot into the steps. Joe is heavier, and really feels like he's landing heavy on everything, to the match's benefit: He rushes in with a hard back elbow and blasts AJ with a high speed falling lariat, AJ comes up with a bloody mouth, and Joe brings the Emerald Frosion out of mothballs for the Australian Misawa fans (they call themselves AMFs). All the striking has been good throughout, both guys peppering in shots in between bigger moves, Joe sneaking in headbutts, AJ mixing up height on his, all effective. When weapons and objects do finally get involved they all have cool, more violent, messy results. Styles goes through a chair on a STO slam, AJ hits an out of control fireman's carry through a table, driving Joe awkwardly through the table. There's nice attention to Joe's leg after, and cool moments like AJ kind of stumbling through a calf crusher application, so Joe attempts to turn it into the Kokina Clutch. I don't know if Joe recognized the application was taking longer than normal and went for it, but the reaction came off logical and more interesting than him lying there waiting. Both guys are turning in ramped up versions on signature offense, with AJ aiming to hit a 450 on Joe's leg, and Joe turning a Kokina Clutch into a sleeper suplex, and I love the moment where Joe suckers AJ in by buckling his knee, suckering AJ into a rolling prawn hold that Joe easily flips into a Kokina Clutch. But also like that he played himself and while he was using his own knee as bait, his knee actually was weakened, leading to an AJ calf crusher. I think this was pretty easily the best match of their unceasing feud.

PAS: I have been slacking on WWE this year, so this is the first Joe vs. AJ match I have seen since TNA days, and I thought this was easily as good as their most lauded matches earlier this century. They really laid into each other, and I loved how even stuff that wasn't clean landed with a thud. At one point Styles just lands a jumping forearm right into Joe's sternum, which looked like it sucked to take. Joe busts up Styles mouth, and while it wasn't a crimson mask, it did add a grittiness to the whole procedure. Joe hit a cracking clothesline which Styles took a big bump on, and crunched him with a great looking powerslam. I loved the knee work, Styles looked like he hurled himself through a table just to make Joe land weird, and Joe yelling to the ref that his knee popped was a great moment. The impact was so strange, that I almost bought a real injury, that is how knee injuries happen, landing awkward and weird with all of your weight. We had a weird heel in peril run, with the valiant heel fighting his way through an injury, while the vicious babyface tried to end his career, totally makes sense with all of the stuff about Joe stalking his family. I liked how Joe can still grab a choke from the ground, but was really unable to hit anything that required weight on his knee. Cool finish too, with all of Joe's tricks running out and getting caught in the calf crusher. I thought this was excellent.

Riott Squad vs. Bella Twins/Ronda Rousey

ER: Riott does something maybe no other worker on the roster does well, and it's a very important thing: Her facials are so strong that she actually comes off like she has a personal problem with her opponents. She looks like she wants to hurt them, and she looks pissed off whenever it doesn't work. All of the Riott Squad has their perks, Live throws underrated kicks and plays great at house shows, Logan comes in off a tag with an awesome running knee, Riott comes in with a low kick to Nikki's back, all of them are good at cutting Nikki off from her crew, and I like how Logan crumbles off Nikki's enziguiri, taking a heel right to the side of her head. Rousey is an absolutely undeniably fun hot tag, and of course everyone deserves credit for getting flipped fast on their tailbones, yanked over by the arm, eating her awesome Samoan drop variation, really all of Ronda's judo offense looks great. Morgan was awesome saving Logan from a sure death Rousey armbar, Morgan flying in towards camera with a hard elbow to the back of the head. I wish we had gotten one more save from the Riott Squad, but the Ronda double armbar finish is a really fun finish for this kind of show. This was worked exactly how I wanted to see it worked, with Brie kept mostly on the apron, Ronda on fire, and the Riott Squad getting to control things. So this easily checked all my boxes for what I was hoping for.

Cedric Alexander vs. Buddy Murphy

ER: You know I liked Buddy Murphy before it was cool (is it cool?), thinking he put up a strong showing at the first NXT show I went to. Amusingly, I have seen approximately zero of his 205 Live run. And indies junior Buddy is just not anywhere as interesting as house show stooge Buddy. I saw this getting talked up as one of the sprints of the year, and while it was a cool moment for Murphy, this thing felt like a couple dozen other uninteresting moves exchanges I've seen over the last couple years. Melodramatic faces, big driver variations, a flip dive hit, a flip dive overshot (the overshot tope con giro is of the UTMOST importance in having one of these matches), an empty strike exchange. Their faces can look spirited, but the matches seem so hollow. This is becoming default style now, and it's feeling like one guy fighting slightly off shadow variations of himself to eternity. However, I do like the hometown win.

ER: Well, I guess we'll never - ever - know if HHH/Taker was worthy of being on our 2018 Ongoing MOTY List, but Joe/AJ is an easy add, easily the best match they've had against each other in WWE.


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